Close to the ground.

GPS: S 24 11.169 E 029 00.718 | pop. 110,000 | elevation 1,124 m/3,688 ft

Mokopane’s original name was Potgietersrus, named after Piet Potgieter, a Voortrekker leader who was killed during the battle with the Ndebele people at the Makapan Caves. In 2002, the city was renamed Mokapane, after the Ndebele Chief Mughombane – who took part in the battle resulting in Potgieter’s death. While many of his followers died in the battle, legend has it that Mughombane himself escaped through an underground tunnel and survived. Today, race relations in Mokapane are some of the sorest in the country. While segregation isn’t “official”, there are still all or predominantly white schools, and bars in town where non-whites are not welcome.

Arend Dieperink Museum

Arend Dieperink Museum is housed in an old stone school dating back to 1917. The museum focuses on the history of Voertrekker farms and has historical collections of Sotho and Voortrekker artifacts, including a large collection of tractors, farming and industrial equipment. The curator is helpful and especially knowledgeable about area history.

Mokopane Game Breeding Center

Mokopane Game Breeding Center breeds endangered species for South African parks and reserves and offers game drives and morning feeding tours.

Makapan's Caves

Makapan's Caves are the site of a deadly battle between the Ndebele people and the Voortrekkers. It is now a world heritage site that showcases hominid and animal habitation dating back 3.3 million years. Call ahead of time to make arrangements for a visit.

There are three main shopping centers along Thabo Mbeki/R101.

Crossings Mall

Crossings Mall is the largest shopping center in the city and has a Checkers, Woolworths, clothing stores, restaurants, Internet and banks.

The Mokopane Mall

The Mokopane Mall has a Pick 'n Pay, and ABSA, Standard Bank and FNB ATMs.

The Spar Plaza

The Spar Plaza has a Spar supermarket and a few smaller shops.

Mokopane Game Breeding Center

Mokopane Game Breeding Center breeds endangered species for game parks within South Africa and has campsites and one guesthouse available on the grounds of the game reserve.

Lonely Oak Hotel

Lonely Oak Hotel has no-frills, secure rooms with TV, AC, and a small kitchen. It is conveniently attached to the lively Oaks Pub & Grill. Note that the 10am checkout is strictly enforced.

Ananza Guest House

Ananza Guest House is a true guesthouse experience. The rooms are well cared for and full of thoughtful touches and the owner will make you feel especially welcomed. The fully outfitted rooms have solid wood antique furniture and self-catering flats are in the house next door. In the back is a swimming pool, cactus garden and braai area.

Protea Hotel - The Park

Protea Hotel - The Park is on the northern end of the city. The dated rooms are large with TV, AC, two double beds, a desk, and rather tacky touches like faux antique tile, but are very clean. The Terrace Restaurant (mains R55-125) has a variety of appetizers and light meals as well as meat selections from the grill, fish & seafood. The hotel usually isn't very busy unless there is a conference booked.

Oaks Pub & Grill

Oaks Pub & Grill is an Afrikaner joint and usually a lively place for food and drinks - even on the weekdays. It specializes in enormous piles of meat served with equally large sides that most people will be challenged to finish in one sitting.

O'Hagan's Irish Pub & Grill

O'Hagan's Irish Pub & Grill is a classic Irish pub (part of a larger chain) with your typical array of beverages to choose from, along with appetizers, pizza, ribs and steak. If you're up for a few drinks you can take the International Beer Challenge and get your name immortalized at the bar (see menu for details).

Melting Pot

Melting Pot is weirdly situated in a corner of a large steel warehouse. The bar has snooker tables, gambling machines, a lounge area and a small restaurant.

Oaks Pub & Grill

Oaks Pub & Grill is an Afrikaner watering hole and tends to attract a decent crowd on both weekdays and weekends. Racially diverse customers might get a cold shoulder from locals at this bar, depending on the night.